Science & Technology

  • Over the next two decades the number of city dwellers is expected to rise to 5 billion, putting pressure on transportation systems, energy and water use, and waste disposal. (Shankar S. Oldandsolo)
  • Smoke rises from the La Cygne Generating Station power plant in Kansas. Cities account for 70% of climate changing emissions from power plants, transportation and buildings.
  • Mexico City is among the most polluted cities in the world.  While cities account for 65 percent of global GDP,  they are faced with public health problems from dangerous pollution. 
  • Brazil, with an 85% urban population, is making aggressive moves to implement public transport. This photo shows a typical traffic jam in Sao Paulo.
  • Cars are seen in thick smog in Beijing on Jan. 31, 2013. Air pollution is killing up to 500,000 people a year in China according to the country’s former health minister.

  • Wind turbines of the Donghai Bridge Offshore Wind Farm are seen near Shanghai. While China is the world’s largest polluter, it is also the world’s largest producer of wind energy, and hopes to double its production over the next six years.
  • New high resolution maps show the world is losing 50 football fields a minute of forested land.  These forests were razed in southwest Cameroon for a palm oil plantation. (Center for Environment and Development Cameroon)
  • The Bonn Challenge is a global movement launched at a ministerial conference in Bonn in 2011 to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020. People work on a reforestation project in the Atlantic Forest region of Silva Jardim, Brazil.
  • Palm Oil production has increased by 400% over twenty years.  Consumers are increasing demands for traceable deforestation-free palm oil. Plantations could use degraded lands instead of taking over forested areas to plant the crop.
  • The United Nations will host a world summit on Climate change in September, 2014 to help advance a global climate change treaty. 
  • A billion voters in three of the world’s largest democracies – India, Brazil and Indonesia -  will have the final say on the future of a sustainable world as they choose new heads of state in 2014.

Earth Moves (or not) Toward a Sustainable Future

Published January 10, 2014


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